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Planning and compliance

When a development application for a wind farm is approved by an appropriate authority, the wind farm is issued with a permit, stating the conditions of approval. The wind farm must operate in compliance with the conditions stated in the permit. All Australian jurisdictions have different processes for ensuring compliance, and different authorities which are responsible for permit enforcement and ensuring compliance. If you are concerned that there may be a potential breach of compliance by a wind farm operator, you should contact the operator in the first instance. Further compliance contact details for each jurisdiction are available below.

Jurisdiction Who issues the permits? Compliance Contact Details

New South Wales

Wind farm developments are granted approval by authorities, depending on the size of the Capital Investment Value and megawatt (MW) output of the wind farm project. These authorities include the Local Council, Joint Regional Planning Panel, and the Planning Minister and Planning Assessment Commission. An overview can be found in the State government’s Wind Energy: Assessment Policy [1]

Department of Planning and Environment

Phone: 1300 305 695

Email: compliance [at] planning.nsw.gov.au

Website: Compliance policy and guidelines

Environment Protection Authority

Pollution hotline: 131555

Queensland

Wind farms are approved by the State Assessment and Referral Agency, within the QLD Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning [2].

Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning

Phone: 13 74 68 (8:30am-5:00pm)

Email: windfarms [at] dilgp.qld.gov.au

Website: State Assessment and Referral Agency

See also: Wind farm state code

(Note: For applications lodged prior to 22 July 2016, the relevant compliance authority remains the local government who issued the approval)

South Australia

Local councils are responsible for assessing and approving wind farm proposals, unless the project is classified as public infrastructure, whereby the Minister is responsible for making a decision on the proposal [3].

Contact Local Council in the first instance for compliance matters

Environment Protection Authority

24/7 Pollution and Environment Incident Reporting/Complaints hotline: (08) 8204 2004

Email: epainfo [at] sa.gov.au

Website: Wind farm noise

Tasmania

Local councils are responsible for assessing and approving any wind farm applications within their area [4].

Environment Protection Authority

Phone: (03) 6165 4599

Email: EnvironmentEnquiries [at] environment.tas.gov.au

Website: Compliance and Incident Response

24/7 Pollution Hotline: 1800 005 171

Victoria

The State government is responsible for issuing permits for wind farms [5].

Contact Local Council in the first instance for compliance matters

Western Australia

Within regional areas, the Western Australian Planning Commission is responsible for approving wind farm development applications [6].

Department of Environment Regulation

Phone: (08) 6467 5000

Email: info [at] der.wa.gov.au

Website: Department of Environment Regulation

Northern Territory

The NT Department of Planning is responsible for issuing permits.

Environment Protection Authority

Phone: (08) 8924 4218

Email: eia.ntepa [at] nt.gov.au

Website: Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority

(Note that this for matters relating to environmental nuisance matters after a wind farm has been developed. Any issues or concerns relating to use of land, potential visual impacts etc. should be directed to the NT Department of Planning)

Australian Capital Territory

The ACT Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate is responsible for issuing permits.

Access Canberra

Phone: (02) 6207 1923

Email: csbinvestigations [at] act.gov.au

Website: Compliance mechanisms

Federal

Issues or questions of permit compliance with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) can be raised through the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy. Further information can be obtained by contacting the Compliance and Enforcement Branch.

Department of the Environment and Energy

Phone: (02) 6274 1372 or free call 1800 110 395 (during business hours)

Email: compliance [at] environment.gov.au

Website: Compliance and enforcement

    Current wind farm guidelines

    Australian jurisdictions have their own planning guidelines and regulations for wind farms. These guidelines are provided below.

    Jurisdiction Guideline

    New South Wales

    Wind Energy Guideline for State Significant Wind Energy Development.

    Wind Energy: Visual Assessment Bulletin for State Significant Wind Energy Development.

    Wind Energy: Noise Assessment Bulletin for State Significant Wind Energy Development.

    Wind Energy Framework: Standard Secretary's Environmental Assessment Requirements.

    Queensland

    South Australia

    More information

    Victoria

    Western Australia

    Wind farm permit approvals are often made publicly available, and some can be found here:

    Jurisdiction Approvals

    New South Wales

    Department of Planning and Environment’s development assessment tracking system

    Victoria

    Minister’s Planning Permit Application Register

    Reference list

    1. NSW Department of Planning & Environment, December 2016. Wind Energy Guideline for State Significant Wind Energy Development, NSW Government: Sydney. p. 23.
    2. QLD Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, July 2016. Wind farm state code: Planning guideline, QLD Government: Brisbane. p. 60.
    3. Central Local Government Region of South Australia, June 2014. Wind Farm Development Guidelines for Developers and Local Government Planners.
    4. Tasmanian Planning Commission. How planning works. Accessed on 01/12/2016.
    5. Senate Select Wind Turbines Committee Secretariat, August 2015. Wind Turbines: Final Report, Senate Printing Unit: Parliament House, Canberra. p. 88-89.
    6. Western Australian Planning Commission, May 2004. Guidelines for wind farm development, WA Department of Planning: Western Australia. p. 8.